Someone set fire to a religious, anti-abortion group’s headquarters this weekend as the future scope of reproductive rights grows shaky. The police investigation is ongoing.
“If abortions aren’t safe then you aren’t either,” stated graffiti left behind at the Wisconsin Family Action’s office in Madison, Wisconsin.
BREAKING: Somebody vandalized and allegedly threw Molotov cocktails into Wisconsin Family Action’s — an anti-abortion rights group — Madison office, writing w/ graffiti, “If abortions aren’t safe, then you aren’t either.”
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— Alexander Shur (@AlexanderShur) May 8, 2022
Local police said they are investigating the fire from Sunday morning as an arson. In addition to the flames, they said a Molotov cocktail was thrown into the building, but this failed to go off.
“Flames were seen coming from the facility shortly after 6 a.m. The fire was quickly put out by the Madison Fire Department,” police said. “Arson investigators are working with fire department officials to determine an exact cause. A [M]olotov cocktail, which did not ignite, was thrown inside the building. It also appears a separate fire was started in response. Graffiti was also found at the scene. No injuries have been reported.”
This follows after Politico reported a leaked draft of a U.S. Supreme Court opinion by Justice Samuel Alito. The case in question, Dobb v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, concerned a Mississippi law banning abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy.
“We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled,” he wrote in the opinion. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts soon confirmed the legitimacy of the draft.
Wisconsin Family Action voiced what they called “cautious optimism” shortly after the leak
“Because it is a leaked, first-draft opinion, we caution against premature celebration of what would, no doubt, be a huge victory for the pro-life cause,” president Julaine Appling said in a statement published Tuesday. “If the opinion holds as it is currently written, we will have reason and time to celebrate. But prudence demands that for now we take a ‘wait-and-see’ approach to this unprecedented development. We can certainly be cautiously optimistic as we consider what could unfold in the days ahead. As a reminder, should the court actually overturn Roe, abortion is not automatically illegal across the country. The issue returns to the states.”
Appling says someone threw Molotov cocktails into her office, and also burned books, according to WISC. She told the outlet her organization gets “veiled and not so veiled threats from time to time” but never anything materializing like this. This goes too far, she said.
“We can all disagree,” she said. “People disagree with me all the time. I don’t go threaten them.”
Madison Police Chief Shon Barnes highlighted the heated political context in a statement Sunday morning.
“Our department has and continues to support people being able to speak freely and openly about their beliefs,” he said. “But we feel that any acts of violence, including the destruction of property, do not aid in any cause.”
[Screenshot via WISC]
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